Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Hope is rooted in God’s possibility"

Sermon by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori
December 19, 2010
50th anniversary of the consecration of the church building,
St. Columba, Marathon, Florida

Congratulations! Fifty years as a community of faith is indeed something to celebrate. I presume there are some in this community who were either here at the beginning or knew the founders well. Keep telling the stories about how and why St. Columba’s began, for the generations to come need to know them. Those stories are filled with hope – hope for the possibilities in a motley crew of salt water and fresh water Conchs. You give evidence of hope for those who aren’t members of this intimate group by your remarkable growth in this place, and by your attention to those far beyond these islands.

Isaiah’s prophecy is given to people who felt grievously isolated, living in mortal fear, with enemies on their doorstep. The big enemies around here are more likely economic or natural disasters, but the fear is the same – who will help, and how will we survive? Isaiah confronts King Ahaz about his despair in the face of those enemies, after he’s lapsed back into his faithless funk. Isaiah says, well hope is coming anyway, whether you want to ask for it or not. He says, look here, by the time this young woman gives birth, and before her child is weaned, your enemies will be gone. And by the way, this child will be named God is with you.

How and where do we find signs of hope when we’re languishing in the dark? How do we discover God with us? The saint your name recalls gives a significant example. Columba was a monk in 6th century Ireland. He wanted a copy of a very beautiful book in another monastery, so he went and spent months making a copy. When he tried to take it home with him, the abbot who owned the original objected. Struggles over copyrights are not new! The two monasteries went to war over it, and a significant number of people were killed. Columba was supposed to be excommunicated, but they let him go into exile instead. After he woke up from his envy frenzy, he chose Scotland, and went to work there, hoping to convert as many as had been killed in the battle over his manuscript. He founded the monastery on the Isle of Iona – which is even today nurturing Christian community in both new and ancient ways. Hope, new ventures, islands, and the ability to tell the good news of Jesus in new lands and new forms – they are equally ancient and post-modern challenges.

God is continually doing new things, and they often come in unexpected forms or surprising places. When people are most discouraged, caught in the deep darkness of spiritual winter, where does God show up? As a babe born to a young peasant woman in a land under occupation. Columba finds hope in exile, after grievous violation of his vocation as a monk, and God brings abundant and lasting life after the carnage he caused in battle. Even the declaration of independence in the Conch Republic has some of that hopeful flavor – no imperious outsiders are going to squeeze the life and unique gifts out of the people who dwell here. St. Columba’s is breaking down the walls that divide peoples of the earth, building bridges to new lands that are also figuratively islands in significant distress: Honduras, Sudan, and Madagascar. Where did the hope for that bridge-building work come from?

The collect we prayed at the start of the service offers a guide for nurturing that hopeful space within us, for helping us move beyond the fear and limited vision that can keep us mired in darkness: “Purify our conscience by your daily visitation, that your son may find a mansion prepared for himself.” We tend to lose hope when our awareness gets too muddied and muddled, when we assume that there isn’t any better possibility, that we’re just stuck with the way things are. That’s what put Ahaz in a funk, and sent him off to convince one enemy to get rid of another. Columba got stuck in a narrowed view of the world when he began to see his beautiful book as the greatest prize of his life. He found hope when he began to remember a bigger vision for his life’s purpose. Mary seems to have dealt with her surprising news rather more easily than Joseph did. But then Joseph began to find hope in the midst of a dream, when the angel’s words began to expand his idea of the possible.

Those assumptions that keep us bound in darkness are the fruit of fear. When we stop clutching at those tattered, darkening wraiths, and open our hands, hearts, eyes, and ears to the new thing God is always doing in our midst, hope is born. The biggest obstacle to hope is certainty – certainty about what is, and certainty about what’s possible and what isn’t. Hope is rooted in God’s possibility, which is always bigger and stranger than we can imagine.

The miracle of Christmas is mostly about how surprising it is – it’s evidence of God doing things far beyond our imagining. When the night is darkest, God answers the dark with the light of the world, Emmanuel – God with us, to whisper hope into hearts that are desperate for a word, a sign that we are not alone, that we haven’t been abandoned to the chaos around us. Discovering those words and signs gets a bit easier with practice, which is why the collect reminds us about a daily visitation. Purifying our consciences is lofty language for paying attention to what we focus on – are we, like Columba, obsessed with some beautiful thing, or are we simply giving up, like Ahaz? Are we focused on listening and looking for those whispers and wisps of hope that are emerging all around us, all the time? Are we paying attention? That’s really what a cleaned-up consciousness is about, as one of our Eucharistic prayers puts it, the ability to notice “the hand of God at work in the world about us.”

A eucharistic sensibility, the ability to give thanks, is one of the deep roots of hope. When we remember, and call to mind, what we’re grateful for, we’re nurturing that hopeful space, that expectant womb, where God can pitch a tent with us. That’s what happened with Mary – she was able to bless and give thanks for her surprising opportunity. Joseph’s evident sorrow about his circumstances was transformed into hope and possibility when he let go of his fear and began to give thanks for an unexpected future.

What are you most grateful for this year? What unwelcome surprises have become blessings? In these last days of Advent, spend a few minutes before you go to sleep and again as you awake in the morning, and notice. Keep watch through the day for more wisps of hope. Before you sleep, pray that your dreams may whisper hope in the ear of your heart. You will have prepared a mansion for the holy one, a tent for God in human flesh. A blessed and hopeful Advent, and may you long continue to be blessing and hope to a world bound in darkness and despair.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Diocesan mission team will leave for Madagascar on Sept. 16

Our diocesan mission team will leave this Thursday afternoon, Sept 16, for their long journey to Madagascar, where they will spend the next two weeks. They ask our prayers for safe travel and for the work they will do in our Companion Diocese of Antananarivo.

Once the team arrives on Sept. 18, there will be daily reports and pictures from their ministry posted on the mission website.

Fourteen people, including the team leaders, the Rev. Debra Andrew Maconaughey, priest-in-charge of St. Columba, Marathon, and her husband, Kirk, will be in Madagascar till Oct. 1, visiting and working with our missionaries, Bishop Todd and the Rev. Patsy McGregor in Toliara.

In addition to the Maconaugheys, other team members include: David Lyon, Anne Morkill, Blair Shiver and TerriLynn Kelly from St. Columba; Rose Brown, Holy Family, Miami Gardens; Rick and Cordella Misseau, Bethesda-by-the-Sea, Palm Beach; Sharon Cassell, St. Joseph’s, Boynton Beach; Emily Nell Lagerquist, Chapel of St. Andrew, Boca Raton; Jacky Lowe, St. James-in-the-Hills, Hollywood; Dr. Emma Stoll from Fisherman’s Hospital in Marathon; and Carolyn Mackay, a friend of the Maconaugheys from Virginia.

Stoll and Kelly, who is a nurse, will head the medical team; Kirk Maconaughey, the Misseaus, Anne Morkill and Emily Nell Lagerquist all have experience in water and/or conservation work and will lead the environmental team.
According to Andrew Maconaughey, the mission will be “multifaceted.” The group will lead Vacation Bible School at two sites; offer a medical clinic and distribute several hundred pairs of eyeglasses; work on an environmental project aimed at providing clean water; and join with the people in Toliara churches and communities for worship and spiritual conversation.

And there will be the kazoos—Andrew Maconaughey said the team plans to take distribute about six-dozen kazoos: “Anything you can hum, you can play on a kazoo!”

She added that on previous mission trips she’s found kazoos to be a great way to break down barriers of language and culture.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Diocesan clergy sign Bishop Frade’s letter opposing Quran-burning

Clergy signatures added to the bishop's letter

At the annual diocesan Clergy Conference, Sept. 7-8, the clergy voiced approval for Bishop Leo Frade's letter to the editors of local newspapers in which he called a small Gainesville, Fla., church's plan to burn copies of the Quran "an act of intolerance and religious stupidity."

Frade expressed concern that this act would endanger not only Christians living in predominantly Muslim countries, but also American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He appealed to Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center to "desist from an action that will hurt his Christian brothers and sisters around the world."

Read the full text of the letter here.

Forty clergy--about half of those attending the conference--added their signatures to the letter; many others were supportive but did not have time to sign before the end of the conference.

A copy of the letter, with the page of signatures attached, was mailed to Jones on Sept. 9.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Exciting day for diocesan acolytes at Trinity Cathedral

More than 400 people—nearly 250 of them children and youth—spent Saturday, Apr. 17, at Trinity Cathedral, participating in the annual Diocesan Acolyte Festival.

Keynote speakers Diana Frade, founder and director of Our Little Roses Ministries in Honduras; the Rev. Donna Dambrot, president of Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida; and Deacon Anita Thorstad of St. Gregory’s, Boca Raton, who recently returned from seven weeks in Haiti, challenged the young people to be missionaries, serving others and taking God’s love out into the world.

Workshops throughout the morning offered opportunities to practice using incense; to experience meditation techniques; to pray with icons; to learn about peer ministry; and even to climb up into Trinity’s belltower and discover that the art of ringing bells is not as simple as it might seem.

After lunch the acolytes, vested and carrying their banners, crosses and torches, assembled in the parking lot between the cathedral and the Diocesan Office for the procession--led by a Junkanoo Band--out onto NE 15th street and around the corner into the doors of the cathedral.

At the Eucharist, Bishop Leo Frade commissioned the acolytes for their ministry and urged them to listen for God’s call--perhaps to ordained ministry.

“If God is calling you,” the bishop said, “please listen—and say yes!”

Each congregation had been asked to name one acolyte to be recognized for outstanding service; the bishop presented a certificate and a pin to each of these honored acolytes.

After the service all participants were invited to stay for a concert by the Christian idie rock group “Between the Trees.”

Click here for Acolyte Festival photos.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bishop’s Spring Conference—Learning a new visual language

“I’m Matthew Moretz, and I have things to show you.”

The Bishop’s Spring Conference, Mar. 12-13 at the Duncan Center, was all about “showing.” What Moretz, whose “Father Matthew Presents” videos have become a YouTube favorite, and television producer Bill Shomo offered participants was nothing less than the opportunity to begin learn a new visual language for communicating the Good News to the new communities that exist online.

On the second day of the conference, participants had an opportunity to tell—and show—how they’d make a video, starting with a script. Both presenters were adamant about the need for writing a script, planning both the shots and the words.

Divided into small groups, participants drafted a “creative treatment” for a video with a Gospel message—based on a satiric country song, “You Never Called Me by My Name,” by Steve Goodman.

After the small groups had presented their “videos” as skits, to enthusiastic laughter and applause, Shomo commented, “I don’t think either Matthew or I realized what great creative talent we have here!”

Young people had been especially invited to participate in the conference. Members of the Youth Commission led ice-breakers for the whole group on Saturday morning; Good Shepherd, Tequesta, brought 15 of its middle school youth; and three groups of youth presented their video ideas.

There was also a small group for Spanish-speakers. In their presentation, the Rev. Christina Encinosa pointed out that their first task had been to translate the words of the song into Spanish.

Not everyone will be making video, Moretz concluded, but he urged the group to make it a priority to learn this new language, and to create ways for people around the church who have these skills to come together and to pass them on.

Photo gallery from Bishop’s Spring Conference.

Click here to view a recent presentation by “Fr. Matthew” at a conference on church communications in the Diocese of Western New York.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Christian rock band at Trinity Cathedral

The Diocesan Acolyte Festival on Saturday, Apr. 17, at Trinity Cathedral, Miami, will conclude with a concert by the Christian rock band Between the Trees, which is featured on the soundtrack of the current film Letters to God.

The concert will begin around 5 p.m. Concert tickets are included for all participants in the Acolyte Festival—but tickets are also available for $20 at

Profits from the concert will go toward diocesan relief efforts for Haiti, and to help acolytes from our diocese participate in the National Acolytes Festival in Washington, DC, in October.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Canon Richard Miller featured on new House of Deputies page

Newly updated web pages of Episcopal Church House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson debuted on the Episcopal Church website,, on April 7.

In addition to Anderson’s views, sermons and statements and her travel throughout the Church; voices from the 800+ members of the House of Deputies; and updates of activities of Committees, Commissions, Agencies and Boards (CCABs), the site includes a section called “Featured Voice.” This section offers the words of people, Anderson says, “whose work and experience I consider especially compelling.”

One of the first to be featured is our own Canon Richard Miller, member of Holy Family, Miami Gardens, secretary of Diocesan Convention, eight-time deputy from our diocese to General Convention and president of Province IV. Click here to read his faith story.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Helping Haiti update--March 15-21

Donations for Haiti are piling up at St. Paul et les Martyrs d’Haiti, but there’s still plenty of space in the trailer, which is scheduled to be shipped on Mar. 22—just a week from today. Don’t forget to bring your donations this week to the church, 6744 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Items needed include: medical and hygiene supplies, towels, toys, water and non-perishable (preferably ready-to-eat) food. (NO clothing, please—they already have many boxes of clothing and shoes.)

Saturday, Mar. 20 at 5 p.m., there will be a Eucharist (celebrated in French and Creole) at St. Paul’s to pray for the people of Haiti and to bless the trailer before it is shipped. Everyone in the diocese is invited.

Sunday, Mar. 21, the Rev. Lauren Stanley, appointed missionary of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Haiti, will be at Trinity Cathedral, Miami, preaching at both the 8 and 10 a.m. services and leading the adult forum following the 10 a.m. service. Since the earthquake she has served as a liaison between the Diocese of Haiti and the Episcopal Church in this country, going back and forth between the United States and Haiti, and posting all available information to her blog, Go Into the World. She will provide an up-to-date first-hand account of the situation in Haiti.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Worship in the Ruins

Fr. Frantz Casseus, former chair of our diocesan Haitian Commission, returned to Haiti the day before the earthquake and is now a member of the Crisis Commission established by the Diocese of Haiti.

He has been officiating at services “in the backyard” of the rubble that was Cathédrale Sainte Trinité, the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti. On Jan. 31 the first Eucharist since the earthquake was held on the cathedral site, with 143 worshipers sitting on whatever chairs could be found.

Since that first service, a temporary worship structure has been set up at the cathedral site with pews salvaged from the cathedral ruins and sheltered with plastic sheeting stretched over a wooden frame. Casseus sent the photo above, which shows the service on Sunday, Feb. 14, attended by more than 350 people. He said that more than 600 attended a memorial service at the end of Haiti’s nationwide weekend of mourning that marked the one-month anniversary of the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fr. Smith Milien reports on Haiti

"The population is sleeping in the streets," Fr. Smith Milien said. Here he shares outdoor sleeping accommodations with earthquake survivors in Port-au-Prince.

An "epistle" from Haiti
On Saturday, Jan. 23, more than 230 worshipers from around the diocese gathered at Holy Sacrament, Pembroke Pines, for a Eucharist for Haiti. Bishop Leo Frade was celebrant, with the Haitian clergy of the diocese concelebrating. The choirs of Holy Sacrament and St. Paul et les Martyrs d’Haiti, Miami, led songs in English, French and Creole. The offering of $4,781 went to the Haiti Fund of Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida.

Frade introduced Fr. Smith Milien, priest-in-charge of St. Paul et les Martyrs d’Haiti, who had just returned from a trip to Haiti, saying that Milien would present “an epistle to the people of Southeast Florida from the people of Haiti.”

Here is Milien’s report, both in English translation and in the original French.
A Report on the Situation in Haiti after the Earthquake

The Rt. Rev. Leopold Frade, bishop of the Diocese of Southeast Florida,
Dear colleagues, members of the clergy,
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I am thankful for the timely decision of our diocesan bishop that allowed me the possibility of traveling so soon to Haiti with my brother, Sophonie, to be better informed about the situation caused by the earthquake on Tuesday, Jan. 12, and to see my family members and friends affected by the disaster, with whom I hadn’t been able to communicate before.

My thanks go also on behalf of the Haitian community of this diocese to my Episcopal brothers and sisters, for their attention and their interest in us and our families after they learned that our country had been seriously battered by this terrible catastrophe.

After traveling through the Dominican Republic, we were in Haiti from Saturday, Jan, 16, through Wednesday, Jan. 20. During those five days in Haiti, we were able to verify the damage caused by the earthquake, which permits to me to present this report to you.

Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, with a population of about 3,000,000 people, was 90 per cent affected. The main offices of the Haitian State have been destroyed; only rubble can be seen at the National Palace, the Premature, the Justice Palace, the Congress, the General Office of Taxes, and at the offices of the Secretaries of Finances, of Public Health and Population and of the Internal and National Defense. Hundreds of the injured are lying outside the General Hospital, where the building is still standing, but with damage in a number of places. We also found first-aid stations or emergency clinics in many places around of the capital and its surroundings.

The Roman Catholic Cathedral is destroyed, and other churches like Sacre Coeur of Turgeau, and Sainte Therese in Darbonne, no longer exist. The archbishop of Port-au-Prince, the Rt. Rev. Serge Miot, and Bishop Benoit of the Roman Church, are dead. Seminarians and religious lost their lives. The shadow of the death hovers over the city.

Episcopal Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin doesn’t yet have a complete evaluation of the damage throughout the diocese. The bishop’s house is destroyed. His wife, Edith Duracin, has fractures in a leg, and is now receiving the necessary care. But the clergy are safe, as are the religious-- no injury, no death among them. However, at least eight Episcopal parishioners have already been reported dead, among them Vesta Joseph and her son, two members of Epiphany Church, my beloved parish. We personally witnessed that the Holy Trinity Cathedral has been reduced to debris. The College St. Pierre, the Convent Ste. Margaret, the St. Vincent school, the Episcopal University have all collapsed. Other churches and schools in Leogane, Darbonne, Matthieu, Buteau and Trouin were destroyed, too.
In the country we do not have yet an exact count, but we estimate that the number of the deaths is up to about 200,000 people, and about 300,000 people are injured. We observed dozens of corpses everywhere in the streets. Others are still shrouded by the rubble, causing a nauseating stench all around. The city itself has become a source of contamination.

In Port-au-Prince, as in other areas affected in the Department of West, South and Southeast, the population is sleeping in the streets or in open fields as a precaution, for fear of the risk of aftershocks, like the one that occurred on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at about 6 a.m. with an intensity near 6.2 on the Richter scale. On the grounds of College St. Pierre, our Church has welcomed about 3,000 people, sheltered under tents. There are also victims staying on the grounds of the Holy Spirit school in Darbonne.

People from many countries of the world are there giving help and showing their solidarity. Electric power has not been reestablished yet, and communication is still difficult. The sale of fuel is improving slowly. Some banks whose buildings remain standing are closed. Air travel is still made through Dominican Republic, the neighboring country, which has shown unprecedented solidarity with Haiti in these circumstances. The Dominican Episcopal Church has maintained a limited communication with that of Haiti.

During our visit we were able to provide spontaneous help to transport an injured woman who had been abandoned. She had begun to have infections from injuries in her back and feet, and had not yet seen a doctor in the seven days since the earthquake.

My cousin Nadege died under the rubble; my cousin Jean-Gardy’s wife died, and the child of one other cousin is dead. They had to cut off the right arm of one of my cousins, and his father, who is my godfather, is hospitalized because of multiple fractures, particularly in his right foot and left arm.

But many survivors are again praising the name of Jesus. They thank God because their lives have been saved.

Our Church now faces a great challenge of solidarity. We are concerned, and we are also called to participate in the work of rebuilding Haiti. We can do this especially through the Episcopal Church of Haiti. Such rebuilding will certainly take time, but it will be possible, because with God all is possible.

Then let us pray to the Almighty that he may protect forever all the countries of the world from a catastrophe like this; and during the present time, let’s continue to thank our heavenly Father, because we are certain that to this moment, the Lord has helped us. To him are the glory, the honor and magnificence forever and ever. Amen


Mgr. Leopold Frade, Evêque du diocèse of Southeast Florida
Chers collègues, membres du Clergé
Chers frères et soeurs dans le Christ,

Je remercie la décision opportune de l’Evêque du diocèse qui m’a accordé la possibilité de voyager ponctuellement en Haiti, accompagné de mon frère Sophonie, dans le but de mieux connaitre la situation provoquée par le tremblement de terre du mardi 12 Janvier 2010, et voir les membres de ma famille et amis affectés, avec qui je ne pouvais pas me communiquer avant.
Des remerciements vont aussi, au nom de la communauté haitienne de ce diocèse, á tous mes frères et soeurs épiscopaliens pour leur attention et leur intéret de savoir á notre sujet et au sujet de nos proches, depuis qu’ils savaient que notre pays avait été frappé sérieusement par un terrible catastrophe.

En effet, nous avions été lá-bas du samedi 16 au mercredi 20 Janvier dernier, passant par la République Dominicaine. Durant ces 5 jours en Haiti, nous avions pu constater les dégats causés par le tremblement de terre, ce qui me permet de vous présenter mon témoignage.

Port-au-Prince, la capitale d’Haiti d’une population d’environ 3.000.000 d’habitants fut affectée á 90%. Les principaux sièges de bureaux de l’Etat haitien ont été détruits. On ne voit que des décombres: au Palais National, á la Primature, au Palais de Justice, au Palais Législatif, au bureau des contributions, aux sièges des Secrétaireries des Finances, de la Santé Publique et de la Population, de L’Intérieure et de la Défence Nationale…, des centaines de blessés sont acuéillis sur la cour de l’Hopital général, dont l’édiffice est encore debout, mais avec des dommages par ci et par lá. On trouve aussi des postes de secours ou clinics pontuels dans plusieurs endroits de la capitale et de ces environs

La Cathédrale de l’Eglise Romaine est détruite, d’autres églises comme Sacré Coeur de Turgeau, Sainte Térèse á Darbonne, ne sont plus. l’Archevêque de Port-au-Prince, Mgr. Serge Miot et l’Evêque Benoit de l’Eglise Romaine ont trouvé la mort. Des séminaristes, des religieuses ont perdu leurs vies. L’ombre de la mort planait sur la ville.

L’Evêque de l’Eglise Episcopale d’Haiti, Mgr. Jean Zaché Duracin, n’a pas encore une évaluation complete des dommages au niveau du diocèse. L’évéché oú il résidait est tombée. Son épouse Edith Duracin, a recu des fractures au pied, et elle recoit actuellement les soins nécessaires. Mais le Clergé a été préservé, les religieuses aussi. Pas de blessés, pas de morts. Néanmoins près de 8 membres de l’église Episcopale, sont déjá reportés morts, l’une d’entre’eux, Vesta Joseph ainsi que son fils mort, étaient de de l’Epiphanie, ma bien-aimée Parroisse. Nous constatons personnellement que la Cathédrale Sainte Trinité et réduite en débri0s. Le college St. Pierre, le Couvent Ste. Marguerite, l’Ecole St. Vincent, l’Université Episcopale, ont été sucombés. D’autres églises et écoles á: Léogane, Darbonne, Matthieu, Buteau, Trouin ont été détruites aussi.

Dans le pays, on n’a pas encore un chiffre exact, mais on estime que le nombre des morts, est élevé á près de 200.000 personnes, et près de 300.000 de blessés. Nous avons observé des dizaines de morts dans les rues, d’autres demeurent encore ensevélis sous les décombres, dégageant des odeurs noséabondes dans les entourages. La ville est actuellement une source de contamination.

A port-au-Prince, comme dans les zones affectées dans les departements de: l’Ouest, du Sud et du Sud-ouest; la population dort en pleine rue ou dans des savanes, par précaution ou par crainte; car il existe encore des risques de répliques facheuses comme celui du mercredi 20 Janvier dernier, aux environs de 6.00 du matin, avec une intensité de près de 6.2 dans l’échelle de Ritcher. Sur le terrain du College Saint Pierre notre Eglise accueille près de 3.000 personnes, oú des tentes sont placées pour les proteger. Il y en aussi des sinistrés sur le terrain de l’Eglise Saint Esprit á Darbonne, Léogane.

Représantants de différents pays du globe sont sur place fournissant des aides, manifestant ainsi leur solidarité. L’énergie électrique n’est pas encore retablie, la communication reste encore difficile. La vente des combustibles s’améliore lentement. Quelques banques dont leurs édiffices demeurent encore debouts sont fermés. Les voyages aériens se font toujours voie Rép. Dominicaine, le pays voisin qui en cette circonstance a manifesté une solidarité sans précédente.
L’Eglise Episcopale Dominicaine a maintenu une étroite communication avec celle d’Haiti.

Durant notre séjour nous avions aidé d’une manière spontanée á la transportation d’une dame blessée qui avait été abandonée á son compte, alors qu’elle commencait á avoir des inffections, causées par des blessures au dos et aux pieds, depuis le jour du seisme, puissequ’elle n’avait pas été encore vue par un médecin, après 7 jours.

Ma cousine Nadège est morte sous des décombres, la femme de mon cousin Jean-Gardy est morte, l’enfant d’une autre cousine est morte aussi. On a du emputer le bras droit d’un de mes cousins, alors que son père qui est mon parrain est encore hospitalisé, á cause des fractures recues dans ses membres, particulièrement, au pied droit,et au bras gauche.

Mais nombreux survivants louent encore le nom de Jésus. Ils rendent leur action de grace á Dieu, parce qu’ils ont la vie sauve.

Notre Eglise se trouve actuellement face á un grand défit de solidarité. Nous sommes concernés et appelés nous aussi á participer dans les travaux de la reconstruction d’Haiti. Oui nous pouvons le faire d’une manière spéciale par moyen de l’Eglise Episcopale d’Haiti. Telle reconstruction prendra certainement du temps, mais elle est possible. Car avec Dieu tout est possible.

Alors, prions le tout-puissant, pour qu’il se plaise d’épargner á jamais, á tous les pays du monde d’un catastrophe de genre. Pendant ce temps, continuons alors á rendre grace á notre père céleste, car nous sommes certains que jusqu’ici, le Seigneur nous a aidés. A lui soit la gloire, l’honneur et la magnificence, pour les siècles des siècles. Amen.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Some other ways to help

Church of the Resurrection, Biscayne Park, has put its request for help for Haiti right out front.

January 22, 2010

Our congregations are finding a variety of ways to collect funds to help the people of Haiti.

Several young people at All Angels, Miami Springs, set up a stand in their neighborhood on the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday to sell lemonade and brownies, and raised over $500.

The gift shop at Trinity Cathedral, Miami, is currently donating 20% of all sales to Haiti relief.

The choir at St. Thomas, Coral Gables, will present a concert on Feb. 21 at 3 p.m.; admission is free, but donations are requested for Red Cross efforts in Haiti, and a grant will match funds raised up to $10,000. Click here for more information.

St. David’s, Wellington, is partnering with Live Arts Florida to present a concert by Grammy-winning violinist Mark O’Connor on Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. in the WCHS Theatre on the campus of Wellington Community High School, 2101 Greenview Shores Blvd., Wellington. Profits from ticketing, parking and concessions will go to Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida for Haiti. Click here for information.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Message from the Crisis Commission, Diocese of Haiti

January 21, 2010

The picture above shows part of the tent city in Port-au-Prince where Bishop Jean Zaché Duraçin and many of the diocesan clergy are living and ministering to several thousand people who are no homeless after the earthquake. (Credit Jois Goursse Celestin/Episcopal Life Online)

Today Bishop Frade and Archdeacon Bazin received the message below from Fr. Frantz Casseus, who had been serving in our diocese, had just returned to serve in the Diocese of Haiti on the day before the earthquake. He has been appointed by Bishop Duracin to serve as a member of a diocesan Special Crisis Commission; the message he sends is from that commission.


January 21, 2010

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ

The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, Anglican Communion, is facing one of its worst catastrophes in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that occurred on January 12, 2010.

A special Crisis Commission established by the Bishop of Haiti, the Rt. Rev. J Zaché Duraçin, is working under his guidance to help manage this crisis.

Millions of people are now homeless. College St-Pierre, one of the best high schools in Port-au-Prince, is unfortunately completely destroyed, and its property is being used as an emergency shelter for approximately 3,000 displaced people coming from all over the capital without any consideration given to religion, creed and social class.

As a direct result of the earthquake, eighty-five (85%) percent of the Diocesan institutions have been destroyed or severely damaged: For instance, Léogane, one of our largest deaneries, sustained about 90% damage. The following institutions within the capital are destroyed:

The Bishop’s Court; Holy Trinity Cathedral; Holy Trinity Complex (Elementary, Music and Trade Schools; St-Margaret’s Convent; Foyer Notre Dame; Universite Episcopale d’Haiti; St Vincent Centre for Handicapped Children; St-Martin’s kindergarten,
Secondary school and rectory; Episcopal Theological Seminary.

In Léogane and the surroundings: Ste. Croix Secondary School; St. Mathias’ Church and institutions, Grande Colline; St-Etienne’s church, Buteau; St. Marc’s Church and institutions, Trouin; Annunciation Church’s Elementary and Trade School, Darbonne.

Among the severely damaged we count Church of the Ascension, Bainet, and St. Matthew’s Church in Matthieu, Léogane.

A complete list of [the condition of] all the institutions around the diocese will soon be published.

Emergency supplies such as food, medicine, water, transportation, generators and so on are urgently needed to care for the displaced.

The purpose of this note is to request your overall support, as well as specialized engineering assistance on a mid-term basis, in order to rebuild our institutions.

We thank you in advance for your daily prayers and your anticipated support in our time of need.

God is good all the time.

The Special Crisis Commission
Diocese of Haiti

Video of Bishop Duracin

January 21, 2010

The Wall Street Journal has posted an excellent video, including an interview with Bishop Duracin, about the work of the Diocese of Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake. Click here to view that.

There is also an article with more about Bishop Duracin and how the Episcopal church is ministering to survivors in Port-au-Prince.

We received a warning yesterday from the canon to the Presiding Bishop that fraudulent emails have been circulating, purporting to be from Bishop Duracin and asking for donations. Do not respond to any requests for aid unless you are sure that the sender is who he or she claims to be.
In our diocese donations are being collected through Episcopal Charities,, and will be disbursed at the direction of the Diocese of Haiti--which, as the video shows, may have lost many of its buildings, but is still carrying on its ministry.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Volunteers discouraged from traveling to Haiti

An important posting on the Haiti pages of the Episcopal Church website today:

January 19th, 2010

There are a number of inquiries about volunteering. Here’s the bottom line:

1. Episcopal Relief & Development discourages all volunteer travel to Haiti for the foreseeable future. The situation is very unstable and safety and security cannot be guaranteed.

2. The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti is fully occupied with ministering to its members and is not in a position to host volunteers at this time.

3. At some point in the future, Episcopal Relief & Development may consider organizing volunteers to go to Haiti. We will publicize those opportunities when and if it becomes appropriate.

4. In the meantime, please collect names of those who may be interested and hold on to them so that when the time is right and a call goes out, you can be in touch with people.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti updates--January 18, 2010

Today Bishop Frade was able to talk with Bishop Duracin, who, Frade said, “He wanted to make sure that you all knew how thankful he is for all of your efforts to help Haiti and our wounded church.” Our bishop’s message about his conversation with Bishop Duracin is posted on his posted on his blog.

Other links of interest today:

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s homily at the prayer service for Haiti last night at Washington National Cathedral;

A message from Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin of Haiti

A story from Episcopal News Service with more first-hand information from Bishop Duracin.

Finally, from the Dominican Development Group (the dioceses that share companion relationships with the Diocese of Dominican Republic), we have a report from Bishop William Skilton, retired bishop of South Carolina, now assistant bishop in DR, the mentions our own Fr. Smith Milien as part of a team that headed for Haiti on Saturday morning. Below are excerpts from Bishop Skilton’s report:

Friday was spent trying to help Water Missions International (a Charleston non-profit that builds simple water purification systems and sends then to areas of need.... How does one rent a 4 wheel vehicle to drive into Haiti? How do you coordinate the airport pick-up, lodging and trip... what needs are evident.... Well, the Lord was good and we did it.... so 3 folk were ready to go to the Haitian border at 6am this morning as part of a 3 car convoy.

We left at 6:00am... the WMI SUV, Fr. Smith Milien (Haitian, trained here, married a Dominican, works in Miami) with 3 others including doctors... 2 priests from Central Florida with longstanding Haitian work… 2 Bishops, our Vicar General and the Development officer and wife... for the diocese.... plus the Bishop's son.... It took us 6 hrs to get to Jimani & the border....stopping twice to get containers filled with diesel and water to take...

While in JIMANI, we met with our young Priest as he spoke of the community responding to the injured being brought in and the needs that were evident. The quake took place on Tuesday... and international relief has not been distributed... water is not to be found....

We visited the small hospital in Jimaní and all those going into Haiti were given tetanus shots... we were all instructed to wear protective masks as we walked some of the halls...

It took us 5 hours to make it back to Santo Domingo....with some rain cooling us down....

There is no doubt in my mind that the Dominican Republic and our church have the responsibility of providing “the pipeline" to get the help that is needed into Haiti. We share a border and need to continue to help responding to this catastrophe....

Some of you have asked.... What can I do.... PRAY.

There are a number of relief agencies that do good work... Support them. We are blessed and need to give from our abundance.... There are church related ones and secular ones.... just respond... they need your help…

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Helping Haiti

Janaury 16, 2010

On Jan. 12, only a few hours after the catastrophic 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti, Bishop Leo Frade issued an appeal to the diocese “to respond to this crisis in a country that needs our prayers and help.”


The bishop has asked that donations be directed to Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida; contributions can be made online at, or checks can be mailed to: Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida, 8895 North Military Trail #205C, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410. Funds will be distributed through—or at the direction of—the Diocese of Haiti, as soon as Bishop Frade is able to contact Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin to determine what will be most helpful.


Bishop Duracin is unharmed, but his wife, Marie-Edith, has a broken leg. Their home was destroyed, as were the Cathédrale Sainte Trinité, the cathedral complex (including a school), the College St. Pierre, and the convent of the Sisters of St. Margaret.

Information from Haiti, including items from across the country on missionaries, church responses and persons in Haiti, is constantly being updated by The Episcopal Church Office of Communication at a new webpage.

Last night, Jan. 15, Fr. Smith Milien, priest-in-charge at St. Paul et les Martyrs d’Haiti, Miami, left for the Dominican Republic, where he is joining with Bishop Julio Holguin and a group from our companion Diocese of Dominican Republic today to drive to Port-au-Prince to meet with Bishop Duracin, assess the situation and offer assistance.

Several of our congregations are already partnering with other organizations and community groups or individuals to collect relief supplies, and the diocese will be setting up several drop-off locations for supplies, as soon as we have specific information on (1) what is most needed, and (2) how these goods can be most efficiently transported and effectively distributed.


In the words of our bishop, in his Jan. 12 appeal: “While we wait for more details of how we can help, let us surround the people of Haiti—and their anxious family members in our midst—with our prayers.”

There will be a diocesan Eucharist for Haiti on Jan. 23, at 4:30 p.m., at Holy Sacrament, 2801 N. University Dr., Pembroke Pines. Bishop Frade will be celebrant and preacher, and the Haitian clergy of the diocese will concelebrate. This is a time for us to come together to mourn with those who mourn, to commit ourselves to give whatever aid and support we can, and to be in solidarity with our Haitian sisters and brothers in our own diocesan family and our communities, as well as the people of Haiti.

In addition to your own personal prayers, you may find these helpful:

A litany by Fr. William “Chip” Stokes;

A prayer by Bishop Jeffery Rowthorn;

A prayer from Washington National Cathedral;

And here’s a prayer written by Archdeacon Fritz Bazin:

A Prayer for Haiti

Almighty Father, God of mercies and giver of comfort, deal graciously, we pray, with the people of Haiti in the midst of the great suffering caused by the catastrophic earthquake. May they cast all their care on you and know the consolation of your love.

Give us the courage, zeal, wisdom and patience to assist them, not only in these first days and weeks of urgent need, but as they continue to need the care and partnership of all their sisters and brothers around the world in the long and difficult work of healing and rebuilding.

Grant eternal life to those who have died, healing to the injured and strength to all the survivors, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

The Ven. Dr. J. Fritz Bazin
Archdeacon for Immigration and Social Concerns
Diocese of Southeast Florida